Book of Lost Threads - By Tess Evans


1 Moss and Finn

2 Michael, Amy and Linsey

3 Amy, Linsey and Moss

4 Finn and a girl called Amber-Lee

5 Finn and Saint Benedict

6 Finn, Moss and Mrs Pargetter

7 Lily Baxter and Arthur Pargetter

8 Mrs Pargetter and Lusala Ngilu

9 Opportunity and Cradletown

10 Sandy and the Great Galah

11 Jilly Baker and Amber-Lee

12 Moss and Linsey

13 Moss and friends

14 Sandy and Rosie Sandilands

15 Moss and Amber-Lee

16 Lily Pargetter and her baby

17 Lusala Ngilu and Ana Sejka

18 Moss, Brenda and Sir Donald Bradman

19 Sandy and Helen Porter

20 Finn and Boniface

21 Jilly Baker and Mr Pie

22 Blackpool and Opportunity

23 Ana and Mrs Pargetter

24 Finn alone

25 Sandy and Rosie; Moss and Linsey

26 Gifts and givers




Moss and Finn


Silence. The door between them remained shut.

‘Michael Clancy. Michael Finbar Clancy?’

‘Who’s asking?’

‘Moss—Miranda. Miranda Sinclair.’

Moss wasn’t a spiteful person in general, but in later moments of honest self-appraisal, she had to admit that spite was one of the less savoury elements in her decision to seek out Michael Clancy. She had nurtured this ignoble spite for months. It had walked with her up the path to his house, stuck like some disgusting mess to her shoe. And it was directed at Linsey. Linsey, who loved her. Amy’s softness offered no resistance and Moss needed hard edges on which to hone this uncharacteristic desire for revenge.

She had checked the timetable when she bought her ticket. The journey from Melbourne usually took just over two hours, but that day the train was delayed at Fosters Creek for nearly an hour, which meant that Moss missed the connecting bus. It was close to eight by the time she arrived, tired, cold and hungry, wishing she’d never come. Never come and never heard of Michael Finbar Clancy. Amy had warned her: He won’t want to know. But she’d come anyway.

The chill rain numbed her face as she half-sprinted in the direction indicated by the driver. She stopped in front of a shabby weatherboard house, alive to the tension that crawled over her scalp; alive to the tingling root of every hair.

There was no knocker and she felt around in vain for a bell, finally rapping, louder than necessary, on the glass panel.

‘Hello. Does Michael Clancy live here?’


‘Michael Clancy. Michael Finbar Clancy?’

There was a reluctant scraping sound as the door opened a niggardly few centimetres and a soft, uncertain voice squeezed its way through. ‘Who’s asking?’

‘Moss—Miranda. Miranda Sinclair.’

The sliver of light from inside revealed four surprisingly neat fingers.

‘I don’t know any Mirandas.’ The fingers withdrew and the door began to close but not before Moss managed to wedge her foot in the gap.

‘Please. I’ve come all the way from Melbourne. It’s freezing out here—not to mention the rain.’

On the other side of the door, Finn was at a loss. Visitors were rare. Especially after dark. He considered his options. He could close the door and that would be that. He could continue to talk through the crack. Or he could simply let her in. The second option seemed safest. The first was rude and the third was risky. It meant asserting some authority, though. Not really his forte. His mind searched for something to say and caught at the tail of her plea.

‘It’s been raining since lunchtime,’ he said.

‘And it’s still raining and I’m soaked. Please. Just let me in so I can talk to you.’

A pause. ‘What do you want?’ he asked warily. ‘I’ll let you in if you tell me.’ Regretting these words even as he spoke.

‘I just need to talk to you. I can’t shout it through the door. You knew my mother once. She told me all about you.’ Moss was overstating the case, certain that Finn couldn’t possibly know anything about what her mother might have told her.

‘All about me? Who is she then—God Almighty herself ?’ Finn’s uneasy chuckle erupted into an embarrassing snort.

‘Please. Just let me in.’ There were tears in her voice.

He applied his eye to the crack. A small figure was huddled under the inadequate shelter of the narrow verandah. ‘Alright. You can come in for a bit.’ A grudging invitation at best.

The door scraped open to reveal a petite young woman— in her early twenties, maybe; a sodden waif with dark hair plastered in tendrils around her urchin face. Her japara was soaked, and he was dismayed to see that she was shivering. He knew then that he had no choice. Noting with a sinking heart her ominously large backpack, he stepped aside to let her in.

‘You’re wet through. Take off your coat